Dallas County again sets record for daily COVID-19 cases, with 1,974

Dallas County reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases Friday, with nearly 2,000.

That number had been predicted by researchers at UT-Southwestern, which now predicts up to 3,000 new cases per day by the start of next month.

Healthcare workers, already exhausted, are panicked about how bad it's going to get.

On Friday, Dallas County also reported a rise in the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital, and that total is now at 707.

In Tarrant County, even more people are in the hospital.

Doctors and nurses at Parkland Hospital in Dallas worry about what comes next.

“We know that that’s going to be just a matter of weeks before the ICU’s start to fill up,” said Kathy Doherty, senior director of nursing for surgical services at Parkland Hospital.

There are currently only 103 available ICU beds in our 19-county hospital region, and some hospital systems in other Texas regions have been hit even harder. Surge plans are in effect.

“And that’s pretty much what we’re seeing. I think the staff are feeling that, there’s a lot of anxiety for this big wave and surge that’s coming at us and we know it’s coming and there’s little we can do to stop it from coming,” Doherty said.

Doherty said they’re working overtime.

“You know, there doesn’t look to be an end in sight,” she added.

The DFW Hospital Council said it’s concerned about staffing issues at area hospitals, but right now, staff is just concerned that the rise in hospitalizations will lead to more deaths.

On Friday, 15 people in Dallas County died.

“I think that we’re going to see a lot more patients not surviving this virus,” Doherty said. “It’s hard going into this knowing that some of these patients are not going to make it out. You may be the last person who has a conversation, a meaningful conversation with a patient before we have to put them on a ventilator and support their respirations.”

Currently, there are 2,276 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients in our trauma region, and that number is 13.5% of all hospitalizations.

Rollbacks won’t kick in until that number hits 15% and stays that way for seven days straight.

The rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations also hurt patients who aren’t suffering from the coronavirus.

“Not just COVID patients. This impacts patients who need to come to the hospital for something other than COVID because the staff are going to be stretched thin. Not just at Parkland, but every hospital in the Metroplex,” Doherty explained.

Out of the 15 newly-reported deaths in Dallas County on Friday, all had been hospitalized.